Part of my supervision is to reflect on my own process and how it is moving through me. The word that came up recently during one of my sessions is “gestation”, which medically means the period of maturation inside the womb from conception to birth. More generally, it’s about the development of something over a period of time. The normal limits of the human gestation period are from 37 to 42 weeks. It has now been about 34 weeks since the start of the first lockdown and in myself I get the sense that something new will be born in the near future. Since March of this year I’ve completed one of the biggest projects of my life (UKCP registration as a psychotherapist), I let go of a role that I had been holding for the last eight years within the Forrest Yoga community and of course I have stopped travelling completely, which brought about a huge change in the way I deliver my work. I have felt that there has been a true integration within myself of the different passions I have: yoga and body psychotherapy. For me, it’s culminating in a two day training I will be teaching online at the end of the month where I’m bringing together different aspects of my work. In some way, I’m being more un-apologetically me in my work.
What has been developing within you? What new beginnings are lurking around the corner for you? What are you giving birth to?
We hope you are safe and healthy.
Due to recent governmental policies, we will need to close the physical centres from Thursday 5th of November until Wednesday 2nd of December - as it stands. Our last in person class will be Tuesday evening in Huntingdon and Wednesday evening in Peterborough. From Thursday 5th of November, all classes will be streamed online. We're currently speaking to the teachers to finalise the timetable, so all sessions with your most favourite instructors should be streameable.
Use this link to see all live-streamed sessions. Please remember that we have two locations and some live streamed sessions are under Huntingdon; some are under Peterborough:
Live Streamed Scheduler
Plus we've been developing our video on demand offer. If you have not tried it, it's only £12 for an introductory offer. We're adding new videos every week. It's £19 after that or £15/month if you commit to 12 months.
Our thoughts are also with those of you who are financially struggling and we would like to support you. We're giving away two times one month of video-on-demand to two people who would not normally be able to afford yoga. This was enabled through the kind generosity of Carlton who donated his teaching to this cause. Contact us if you or somebody you know could benefit from yoga, but can't afford it.
If you had technical issues in the past, please contact Brian on email@example.com and he will walk you through the set up step by step. We've learned a lot during the last months and even though you might not have had a satisfactory experience before, the solution might be simple.
If you can't go online or don't want to, here is what we can offer you:
- If you are holding a membership and you'd like to freeze it for November, please contact us. We're waving the notice period. The £10 admin charge still applies.
- If you are holding a valid 5 or 10 class pass, please contact us and we can credit your account with the monetary value of the remaining sessions. We're waving our regular policies for November. There is a £5 admin fee. There is no time limit on the credit.
Please contact us by end of November 2020 in order to make use of the more flexible and changed policies. You need to hold a valid membership or pass in order for us to process your credit.
Let's all stay grounded, centred and kind to one another.
Watching a recent video on you tube with Lisbeth and Ditte Marcher, I was struck by the notion of “Justice does not exist”, i.e. things are unfair at times. We develop a sense of just and unjust between the ages of 2 and 4 years old. It’s the time the child learns to make decisions and how to choose. The understanding of duality, such as good and bad, is being developed then. During that time, the ability to understand consequences is also established. In the video, both women make clear that choosing something means letting go of something else. In order to make decisions we need to fully embrace the consequences of that decision, including the fact that things might not be fair. We can get stuck in that developmental phase thinking that things are either black or white, fair or not fair. Subsequently, we have difficulties making decisions, because in reality there are no perfect choices. Sometimes the decision is between pest and cholera.
I, personally, feel that this has so much relevance right now. My sense is that we really need to let go of the notion of justice and be real that we have choices, but that they might not be fantastically great.
Where do you get trapped when making decisions? What happens within you when you get stuck in the position of “The world is unfair?”.
In one of the sessions with my client, the word autonomy came up, which I have been reflecting on since. In Bodynamic, which is a form of body psychotherapy, the stage of autonomy is a developmental phase from 8 months to 2.5 years. It’s the time where we learn to keep our impulses whilst being in relationship. The question is “Who am I when in contact with another?”. One of the risks we are running is that we lose ourselves in the relationship. The challenge is to stay in contact with our own centre, power and feelings whilst being in relationship with another human being. It’s about an open heart without needing to shut down or abandon ourselves.
I invite you to track when you lose connection to yourself, when you start to follow another person’s rhythm, pace and timing, thereby losing your own and when you give your power away in order to stay in contact.
One of the approaches I take as a yoga teacher and also psychotherapist is to pay attention to what is coming up. I follow what is emerging in the energetic field and my intent is to bring curiosity, acceptance and neutrality to it. It’s a very organic method of working led by the process vs. me trying to take control and direct things in a certain way, which is definitely a go to place of mine. I like certainty and I like to know where I’m heading. Yoga and Body Psychotherapy have taught and continue to teach me to stand in an empty room and wait. Instead of wanting to make things happen or having a pre-conceived idea where life takes me, I’m working on allowing the process to move through as it needs to. My intent is to hold space for the people I work with in exactly that way. And as my therapist used to say: It takes a lot of courage and nerve to stand in an empty room. It’s about creating space, not filling it back up and then waiting what is coming to the surface. In the current times with all the uncertainty, I feel this is more relevant than ever.
What happens when you stand in an empty space? What are your go to places? What happens when there is space in your life?
The overarching feelings for the last two to three weeks, in myself and my clients, have been overwhelm, exhaustion and anxiety. For me, lockdown provided quite a strong structure of what I could and could not do. The easing out of lockdown has brought more uncertainty and in some respects more headache, as things are so much more in flux and continuously shifting. Guidelines are not always clear, feelings are running high and sensitivities have been touched.
Ana Forrest is famous for saying: "Evolve or die". The nature of yoga studios is changing and we are moving towards a "hybrid model" of offering classes online and in-person at the same time. This means that yoga teachers and studios are required to teach differently, learn new skills and stay flexible in terms of what is possible. The ground is ever moving and there is a distinct lack of solidity.
My own experience at the moment is that my skin is very thin, I have a sense of being stripped bare and my connection to the ground is less present. I feel vulnerable and raw.
I also recognise that being stripped bare offers the opportunity to let go of the old and to make a conscious decision on how and what to move forward with. For me, it has been a very deliberate process of deciding what people to surround myself with and what relationships to free myself from. The shaky ground is an opportunity to create a new vision of Equilibrium and also of myself.
I'd like to thank all of you who supported me on my journey. Thank you all who supported Equilibrium Yoga Centres in the last 12 years, but especially the last 4 months.
Walk in beauty.
We're excited that we will be opening our doors again on 25th of July, both in Peterborough and Huntingdon.
The first session in Peterborough in person will take place on Saturday 25th of July and in Huntingdon on Monday 27th of July.
We've put together a timetable taking into consideration the results of the survey where we listened to your voice, the availability and willingness of the teachers to come to the studios, cleaning times and general logistics around the changed reality due to covid. We think we've come up with a great solution: a good mix of different styles and teachers at times you told us you preferred, in-person and live-streamed sessions with your favourite teachers, new teachers and guest teachers from all over the world, including a regular live streamed Yin Yoga class on a Tuesday morning with South African yoga teacher Ridwaan Lockhart from 4th of August. We understand that the timetable is not perfect and that your most favourite class or teacher might not be on the timetable or at a time you like. We welcome any feedback, and will consider it for future changes.
What we have put in place:
To embrace our new changed world, here is what we have put into place:
Here is an explanation about the timetable:
What we need you to do:
Here is what we need you to do for the in-person classes:
Our Terms & Conditions
Our Terms and Conditions have changed: IMPORTANT - PLEASE READ:
Memberships: If you are currently a 12 monthly member and you'd like to cancel your membership, please contact us by 30th of July. You will be able to cancel your membership free of charge with immediate effect. After that, the regular terms and conditions apply to your membership, i.e. 12 monthly commitment or if you have been a member for 12 months already, a 30-day notice period.
We're currently unclear about mask regulations, so please bear with us and we will send you some further information once we have an update.
Our landscape has been continually changing and we're constantly reviewing best practices, governmental regulations, recommendations by UK Yoga Alliance and expert advice. Please bear with us as we are navigating this increasingly more complex terrain.
We very much feel that in these times yoga is an incredible tool to stay grounded and centred with strong boundaries enabling us to have compassion for others without losing ourselves.
We hope through these measures we will create an enjoyable experience for teachers, therapists and clients alike and provide a space where we can come back home to ourselves in a peaceful and restful way.
Our thanks go to all of you who supported us through this pandemic by showing up online and buying drop ins, memberships and passes. Thank you all also for your kind words and your encouragement during these challenging times.
Walk in beauty
This is a pre-announcement that we will be opening our doors both in Huntingdon and Peterborough on 25th of July. Please bear with us as we are finalising the timetable and processes, so that we can enjoy being at the centre safely and responsibly.
We cannot wait to see you in person. We will continue with our live streamed classes, too, in case you can't or don't want to make it in person.
Please bear with us as we are pulling all information together. You will get a very detailed update on Friday.
Huge thank you, as always, to all the people who have been supporting us.
Walk in beauty
We'd like to update you on the current situation. As per governmental regulations, we will not be able to open on 4th of July. We will keep you posted about when it's safe and compliant for us to return to the premises. We definitely can't wait to see you all in person!
Meanwhile we've been working on our timetable and set up by reading and analysing the results of the survey. Thank you all who took part in it. If you have not already done so, have your say and shape a future Equilibrium that you want to be part of. The survey only takes less than 3 minutes to complete:
This is what we've been busy working on:
We will soon send out a second survey with a suggested timetable for you to review and comment on. We'd like your input. Please remember that the survey is anonymous. If you want us to know your name, please put it into the comment box or write to us separately: firstname.lastname@example.org
Finally, thank you all for your very encouraging comments and constructive feedback. Thank you all who have been supporting us through this very difficult time by taking part in our live streamed and recorded sessions. Thank you all who have shown kindness through your words and actions. They have been very much appreciated.
Walk in beauty
Sometimes a week or days can be summarised by or explored through one word. For this and last week, this word has been "discernment" for me. It has come up for me in a session with my supervisor, who has trained in and taught a psychotherapeutic tradition that is based on Buddhism. One of the definition of discernment (not in the Buddhist sense, but in the broader sense) is "the quality of being able to grasp and comprehend what is obscure" (Merriam Webster Dictionary). Other definitions include words like insight and being able to judge well and accurately. A lot of the work I have been doing is about understanding what is my real and authentic self and where am I stuck in my patterns. Sometimes being triggered, or in transference, can feel like reality. However, I know that when I take my time and importantly slow down, I can distinguish, i.e. discern, between my defences and coping mechanism and my real self, i.e. between what is the immediate and real experience and what I have fallen into, unconsciously.
For me personally, when I'm in my pattern, there is a sense of urgency to do something, a feeling of not wanting to be with what is emerging and a desire to discharge the overwhelming emotions. This is often accompanied with a lack of grounding and thoughts that are in a constant loop. On the other hand, when I'm in contact with my authentic self and what is truly emerging within me vs. the secondary more interpretative energies that are often layered on top, I'm more centred, more grounded and slower. I am in contact with my centre and with what is real.
The art is to discern: what is real and what is made up; what is coming from the core and what is story.
Walk in beauty.
Yoga, well-being and mindfulness... always walk in beauty.